Prime Minister Robert Abela has said he will defend the right of political parties to own their own partisan media stations.
In a political address aired on ONE, Abela pledged to continue fighting for parties to own TV stations and radio channels for the first time publicly following the launch of a campaign to prove that party-owned media in Malta is unconstitutional.
Saying that the Maltese people knew where they stood with Labour and ONE, Abela said he couldn’t say the same about the Opposition, who he said wanted to keep their media while, at the same time, it had proponents who said the situation wasn’t ideal and wanted to phase their stations out.
It is also formal PN policy to remove party-owned media.
Doubting how well the Opposition would be defending their own stations, Abela pledged to remain steadfast in his support for ONE.
“With us, you know where you stand – we say white when it is white, and black when it is black. We are honest and have always worked in a transparent manner,” Abela said.
At time of publishing, it has been over 10 years since either ONE or Net published their financial accounts.
Lovin Malta has launched a website explaining its case to declare the country’s party-owned TV stations unconstitutional.
Kaxxaturi.com details exactly why ONE and Net go against Article 119 of the Constitution, which requires all broadcasters to be impartial.
A proviso in Article 13 of the Broadcasting Act enables party stations to exist on the premise that they balance each other out, even though Malta’s Constitution clearly states that all broadcast media is as much as possible impartial.
This is the same argument made by the Prime Minister’s father George Abela when he was President 10 years ago
Lovin Malta argues that One TV and Net TV are the exact opposite of what the Constitution demands.
The website also includes a countdown of how long the party media have failed to publish their audited accounts and a copy of the last accounts they filed which showed them making heavy losses and being in debt.